reclaim the streets
my day out
oh to be an Anarchist!
my day out (2)
suits you sir!
>> so why the city?
more to come?
Lovely day in the sun
SO WHY THE CITY ?
(report from SchNEWS 217, 25th June 1999)
June 18th was the day when the world's seven most industralised countries and Russia (G8) met in Cologne, Germany. On their agenda was more economic growth, more 'free' trade and more power for corporations. (check back issues of SchNEWS to find out why these are bad things)
The city was chosen because it is the place, as Anthony Sampson described in the 'The Midas Touch' where "people buy and sell blips on an electronic screen. They deal with people they never see, they talk to people over the 'phone in rooms that have no windows. They sit and look at screens. It is almost like modern warfare where people sit in bunkers and look at screens and push buttons and make things happen."
It's a place where a small number of people play the world's largest and most risky video game - the money game. But the consequences of this game are very real: human lives, ecosystems, jobs and even entire economies are at the mercy of this reckless system. To the frenzied traders it's might be about just gambling with blips on a screen, but to the Peruvian coffee growers who's just had the value of their crop halved ovenight, the game's for real. As Business Week once observed "in this new market…billions can flow in or out of an economy in seconds. So powerful has this force of money become that some observers now see the hot-money set becoming a sort of shadow world government." Perhaps one demonstrator put it best "the damage to property that happened today, is nothing compared to the misery these financial corporations create in their never ending quest for profits."Are we all ready for a terrorist back-lash?
And now for a lesson on how multi-national companies bribe whole towns. One of the UK's biggest companies, Vodaphone recently got planning permission to build a giant HQ on a greenfield site on the outskirts of Newbury. Vodaphone refused to contemplate moving to other sites such as the vacated MOD site at Greenham Common (which they reckoned was a security risk because of the peace women there - all three of them!), they said to the town, give us permision or we'll pack our bags and go. Vodaphone were also surprisingly enough supporters of the Newbury bypass, which was built, residents were told, to stop traffic congestion and infil development.